She's daddy's girl and is acceptive of the fact that her filmmaking choices are greatly influenced by him. Much like Mahesh Bhatt, who has launched a plethora of actors, Pooja believes in the power of fresh talent. And that's probably why she's launching Sunny Leone in her next directorial venture Jism 2.
How did the idea of casting Sunny Leone in the film came about? "I signed Sunny Leone for the same reason I signed John Abraham. It was instinct. I broke the perception that models can't act with Jism. Now, I am looking forward to break another perception by signing Sunny Leone, a pornstar in Jism 2."
While the sensual poster of the movie is already making waves, Pooja Bhatt says that she plans to uncover more details about the film slowly. "I'm planning to unravel my film to the audience slowly and slowly, just like a woman who takes her own sweet time to make way into the heart of somebody."
More details would be pouring in soon as the film goes to the floors on April 1. The lady is all excited about the shooting of the film starring Sunny Leone, Randeep Hooda and Arunoday Singh. "We are planning to finish it in a 40 day schedule. Right now it's rehearsals, costumes, make-up that's in my mind. All the characters have got meaty roles."
So how's Pooja planning to take the Jism brand forward. What's the similarity and what are the differences? "Jism was a love story for mature audience, Jism 2 is for mature adult audience. We are looking at raising the bar in every sense - emotionally and sensually."
"It would be the story of human heart, crime of passion, revenge, betrayal, the same elements that made Jism, with a fresh story," added Pooja.
Much like Jism, where Bipasha portrayed Sonia Chopra, a seductress, Sunny Leone will portray the role of Izna, who is the classic temptress. Talking at length about the characters, Pooja Bhatt says, "Sunny Leone plays Izna, the quintessential seductress. Randeep Hooda is the warrior, and Arunoday Singh is the swashbuckler. It's a love triangle." The film also stars Imran Zahid, The Last Salute actor, in a key role. He'll play a Delhi boy and join the team in Jaipur from the first day itself. "I can't wait to start shooting", says an excited Imran.
Pooja is known for her critically acclaimed films Tamanna, Dushman, Zakhm, Sur: The Melody of Life and Paap. The lady who's more interested in the idea behind a film does not believe in casting stars.
"I can't just sign big stars, and make my film around them. In my film, idea, talent and story have to rule. If I can make a film in 12 crore, which is profitable to everyone, then I don't see a point in making a star-studded 70 crore film," says Pooja.
On making Bollywood bolder
"If you remember, Dhoom also released at the same time when Jism did. While there was more skin show in Dhoom, Jism was considered bolder. Bipasha played a woman who had no qualms about her sexuality and sensuality. She portrayed one-dimensional sexuality which was not common for a woman to portray at that time. In a way, it redefined woman in Bollywood. Who could have uttered this dialogue before - 'Ye jism pyar karna nahi jaanta, jaanta hai to sirf bhook… jism ki bhook'," she quotes a dialogue from the John-Bipasha starrer.
On launching actors
"You have to believe in the talent of newcomers. If you don't, how would Sanjay Dutt, and other stars have got their break. You have to believe in somebody's commitment to the project."
On item numbers
"I don't like the term item number. The word 'item' is something I consider derogatory. I don't know about the item numbers, but the film will have sensual numbers. If you call a song like Jadoo Hai Nasha Hai... an item song, my film has such numbers.